In certain contexts, telling the story of how one time your buddy was trying to show somebody a picture on your phone and wound up giving everyone a good long look at you naked instead is pretty funny. Hell, once I got over the embarrassment I’d probably tell that story if I had one like it to tell. But if I did, I’m pretty sure I’d be able to tell it without needing to give anyone visual aids…especially if the audience was made up of a bunch of my female patients and office staff.
Georgetown family physician Dr. Nigel Phipps has admitted to showing naked pictures of himself — selfies, to be specific — to more than a dozen patients.
“I thought they would think what I thought . . . I thought it was humorous, innocuous,” the 57-year-old doctor testified in his own defence at his discipline hearing Thursday at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), about how he wanted to share with patients what he thought was a “funny” story of a stranger accidentally seeing one of the naked selfies several years ago.
“Through counselling, I realize people don’t think what you think.”
Indeed, a number of complainants testified Thursday, as well as at the beginning of the hearing in July, that they felt embarrassed, violated, and confused when their doctor showed them the photos in the examination room. “A strong yuck factor,” as one patient put it in an agreed statement of facts filed by the college Thursday.
Though Phipps apologized, he maintained that nothing he did was sexual abuse and that the four different pictures he needed to show in order to spin his yarn about an accident involving a single photo were little more than an attempt at humour gone wrong by a man who was having some problems. The women who recall seeing additional photos of dongs and the one who claims the good doctor complimented her breast reduction surgery, however, say otherwise.
The hearing continues. Hopefully the laughs do not.